June 13th, 2011
04:41 PM ET

Leader of May 21 doomsday movement suffers stroke

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Harold Camping, the leader of the apocalyptic movement that predicted the end of the world would begin on May 21, has suffered a stroke, according to a statement on his ministry's web site on Tuesday.

Camping suffered a "mild stroke" last Thursday, according to the statement posted on the website of Family Radio, Camping's California-based broadcast ministry.

"Mr. Camping is receiving excellent care, and the doctors treating him are encouraged with the progress he is making," the statement said. "Mr. Camping's family appreciates everyone's thoughts and prayers."

“This was all we were told to tell everyone,” an operator at Family Radio said Monday, after she read the same statement that later appeared on Family Radio's website.

The operator, who would not give her name, said she and Family Radio’s other operators came to work Monday morning to find the statement from the Camping family on their desks.

For months, Camping predicted that Jesus Christ would return to the earth on May 21 and that a select 2% to 3% of the world’s population would be raptured, or taken to heaven.

Watch as the apocalypse flops and the Rapture leader wonders what went wrong

Those left behind would face months of tribulation before perishing in the Earth's destruction, which Camping said would happen on October 21.

Camping, who is reported to be 89, spread the word through a national billboard campaign and caravans of RVs that toured the country spreading the doomsday message.

When his prediction failed to pan out, Camping took the radio airwaves to say that he had misinterpreted the nature of the rapture but that the world would still end on October 21.

“We've always said October 21 was the day," Camping said. "The only thing we didn't understand was the spirituality of May 21. We're seeing this as a spiritual thing happening rather than a physical thing happening. The timing, the structure, the proofs, none of that has changed at all."

Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958. It received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009.

He first inaccurately predicted the world would end in 1994. Despite his poor track record, he has gathered many followers. Some gave up their homes, entire life savings and jobs because they believed the world was ending.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: End times

soundoff (1,171 Responses)
  1. Gabriela

    theoubliette Posted on Tim pollard einxalps very well on how conflinct can ruin relationships. However he fails to thoroughly explain the analogy of triggers, sparks, gasoline and fires.

    June 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  2. JustJosh

    So wait... Did he just pray the stroke away? Or did he like, go to a heathen hospital?

    I'm guessing the latter. It's always good to have a 'backup plan' for the "infallible", eh?

    June 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  3. Muneef

    [18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abro-gate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.

    [18:28] You shall force yourself to be with those who worship their Lord day and night, seeking Him alone. Do not turn your eyes away from them, seeking the vanities of this world. Nor shall you obey one whose heart we rendered obl-ivi-ous to our message; one who pursues his own desires, and whose priorities are confused.

    [18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a fire that will completely surround them. When they scream for help, they will be given a liquid like concent-rated a-cid that sca-lds the faces. What a miserable drink! What a miserable destiny!

    [18:30] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, we never fail to recompense those who work righteousness.

    [18:31] They have deserved gardens of Eden wherein rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and will wear clothes of green silk and velvet, and will rest on comfortable furnishings. What a wonderful reward; what a wonderful abode!

    June 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:43] No force on earth could have helped him against GOD, nor was it possible for him to receive any help.

      [18:44] That is because the only true Lord and master is GOD; He provides the best recompense, and with Him is the best destiny.

      [18:45] Cite for them the example of this life as water that we send down from the sky to produce plants of the earth, then they turn into hay that is blown away by the wind. GOD is able to do all things.

      [18:46] Money and children are the joys of this life, but the righteous works provide an eternal recompense from your Lord, and a far better hope.

      [18:47] The day will come when we wipe out the mountains, and you will see the earth barren. We will summon them all, not leaving out a single one of them.

      [18:48] They will be presented before your Lord in a row. You have come to us as individuals, just as we created you initially. Indeed, this is what you claimed will never happen.

      [18:49] The record will be shown, and you will see the guilty fearful of its contents. They will say, "Woe to us. How come this book leaves nothing, small or large, without counting it?" They will find everything they had done brought forth. Your Lord is never unjust towards anyone.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.

      [18:55] Nothing prevented the people from believing, when the guidance came to them, and from seeking the forgiveness of their Lord, except that they demanded to see the same (kind of miracles) as the previous generations, or challenged to see the retribution beforehand.

      [18:56] We only send the messengers as simply deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they take My proofs and warnings in vain.

      [18:57] Who are more evil than those who are reminded of their Lord's proofs, then disregard them, without realizing what they are doing. Consequently, we place shields on their hearts to prevent them from understanding it (the Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what you do to guide them, they can never ever be guided.

      [18:58] Yet, your Lord is the Forgiver, full of mercy. If He called them to account for their deeds, He would annihilate them right there and then. Instead, He gives them a respite until a specific, predetermined time; then they can never escape.

      [18:59] Many a com-m-unity we annihilated because of their transgressions; we designated a specific time for their annihilation.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:100] We will present Hell, on that day, to the disbelievers.

      [18:101] They are the ones whose eyes were too veiled to see My message. Nor could they hear.

      [18:102] Do those who disbelieve think that they can get away with setting up My servants as gods beside Me? We have prepared for the disbelievers Hell as an eternal abode.

      [18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?

      [18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good."

      [18:105] Such are the ones who disbelieved in the revelations of their Lord and in meeting Him. Therefore, their works are in vain; on the Day of Resurrection, they have no weight.

      [18:106] Their just requital is Hell, in return for their disbelief, and for mocking My revelations and My messengers.

      [18:107] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they have deserved a blissful Paradise as their abode.

      [18:108] Forever they abide therein; they will never want any other sub-sti-tute.

      [18:109] Say, "If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord run out, even if we double the ink supply."

      [18:110] Say, "I am no more than a human like you, being inspired that your god is one god. Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord."

      June 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Marc

      You wrote:
      "[18:57] Who are more evil than those who are reminded of their Lord's proofs, then disregard them, without realizing what they are doing. Consequently, we place shields on their hearts to prevent them from understanding it (the Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what you do to guide them, they can never ever be guided."

      The Lord God sent his Son with these words unto His disciple Peter:
      2 Peter 3:[8] But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. [9] The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

      You wrote:
      [18:59] Many a com-m-unity we annihilated because of their transgressions; we designated a specific time for their annihilation.

      The Lord God answers through his Son Jesus Christ in Romans 2:16-
      You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

      You wrote:
      [18:56] We only send the messengers as simply deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they take My proofs and warnings in vain.

      Jesus Christ, Son of God Almighty has these words for you:
      1 John 4:1-6 (NKJV) "Beloved, do NOT Believe EVERY spirit (those CLAIMING to SPEAK BY THE SPIRIT), but TEST the SPIRITS, whether they are of God; because MANY FALSE PROPHETS have gone out into the World. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does NOT confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God (i.e. the True Gospel). And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore THEY SPEAK speak as of the WORLD, and the WORLD HEARS THEM. We are of God. He who KNOWS God HEARS US; he who is NOT of GOD does NOT HEAR US. By THIS we know the SPIRIT of TRUTH and the SPIRIT of ERROR."

      I pray you see that no man can come to God, unless you accept the sacrifice of his Son. If you are not made clean by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you will not come unto the Lord. The Lord God does not lie. If you know this to be true, then you must accept the Bible before the word of your prophet. Otherwise, you admit that God has lied. Please consider.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  4. Artist

    I wonder how this con/scu mb ag is doing. Does he sound drunk when he talks now?

    June 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  5. Muneef

    May God forgive us all for our sins. May God guide us to the Right Path. May God bring up to power the sincere and the best of us to shower us with Justice,Peace and Prosperity. Amen.

    June 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


      June 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Muneef

      The reality is that;

      [17:11] The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient.

      [17:67] If you are afflicted in the middle of the sea, you forget your idols and sincerely implore Him alone. But as soon as He saves you to the shore, you revert. Indeed, the human being is unappreciative.

      [17:100] Proclaim, "If you possessed my Lord's treasures of mercy, you would have withheld them, fearing that you might exhaust them. The human being is stingy."

      [18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.

      [18:55] Nothing prevented the people from believing, when the guidance came to them, and from seeking the forgiveness of their Lord, except that they demanded to see the same (kind of miracles) as the previous generations, or challenged to see the retribution beforehand.

      [18:56] We only send the messengers as simply deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they take My proofs and warnings in vain.

      June 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Reality

      The reality of Islam:

      Some examples of koranic/mosque- driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      June 16, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • Muneef


      Maybe you should read this very interesting text book which I came to by considance;



      EISA 'Jesus'

      June 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  6. jimtanker

    Guess he didnt see this one coming in his little magic book of multiple choice.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:59 am |
  7. The Nail in the Atheist's Coffin

    Atheism losses

    June 15, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • JustJosh


      The only "lossers" here are you people who actually believe in these ridiculous fairy tales. I can't believe how in an age where we're able to: map the human genome, conduct experiments in outer space, send millions of instant communications worldwide every minute, POST COMMENTS ON WEBSITES, build massive civil works projects, and save millions of lives through medical science – there are STILL people in the world who believe in: talking snakes (Genesis 3), unicorns (Deuteronomy 33:17 [KJV], Psalm 22:21 [KJV], Numbers 24:8 [KJV], etc.), talking donkeys (Numbers 22:28), evidence-less global flooding (Genesis 7), giants (Deuteronomy 3:11), talking plants (Exodus 3:4), and the list goes on.

      May Bigfoot be with you (and also with you). Amen.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      This...this is your "proof"? Ignorant philosophical arguments with flexible premises having ZERO basis in observable or measurable reality?

      Tell you what: If these ontological arguments are your "nails" in atheism's coffin, build a real-life house out of them and let's see how well it holds up. These "nails", like religion, are nothing but a lot of hot air.

      June 27, 2011 at 5:32 am |
  8. Bill

    Funny that there is very little sympathy for the guy. He's evil. He collected all that money and yet he's done nothing at all to help out his hometown. Selfish old greedy man.

    June 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  9. Muneef

    1· No point using limited life to chase unlimited money.
    2· No point earning so much money you cannot live to spend it.
    3· Money is not yours until you spend it.
    4· When you are young, you use your health to chase your wealth; when you are old, you use your wealth to buy back your health. Difference is that, it is too late.
    5· How happy a man is, is not how much he has but how little he needs.
    6· No point working so hard to provide for the people you have no time to spend with.
     Remember this - We come to this world with nothing, we leave this world with nothing!

    June 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Reality

      Then there are the Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      June 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  10. Muneef

    Hu hu; Apeman here is no place for you to be ..Hu hu hu: go find some one to scratch your back...Hu hu hu.

    June 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  11. Mark from Middle River

    HuHu : "I have no problem with wishing him to die as soon as possible. Perhaps Mark could join him.
    We can't heal these people. All we can do is be glad when they die"

    HuHu, then in many ways you are just the same as Hitler in believing that it is worth having someone dead just because they disagree with or stand up against you in a exchange of views.

    You need to come to grips with the facts that everyone is not going to agree with everyone. Wishing folks dead just shows that you have not reached the level of sanity to exisit in a deverse society.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I don't agree with Mark on a great number of things, including his annoying habit of being all the blogger's moral compass.

      But, I do agree with him that this idiot preacher has done nothing to deserve death. This is not divine retribution.

      There were many figures in history, that people might have wished dead, and still be considered sane.

      Many danced in the street when bin Laden was killed. I, myself, felt a moment of "Payback!".


      June 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  12. Muneef

    Mark from Middle River
    He is still a human being. You might disagree with a person's views but to be happy about his ill health or death is crazy wrong.
    June 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |

    I add my voice to the voice of "Mark from Middle River"....we should not be happy for others being in pain after all what they did or intentions they had will only be Judged by God alone knower of every thing and not us since we mankind seem to "Judge the Book by the Cover" they not only judge people that they know nothing about but even have judged holy scriptures with out even trying to read and reflect what holy scripture message is trying to convey to them... !?

    June 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  13. Reality

    Camping "stroked" when he read the following on his church door:




    Added details upon request.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  14. Marie Kidman


    June 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.